Pumpkin For Dogs

They key to creating seasonally inspired, healthy treats for your dog is growing the pumpkin yourself. In this article, we will teach you how to plant, grow, and take care of this delicious edible vegetable. All it takes is a little bit of pre-planning, and you will have a garden full of pup treats ready in the fall.

How To Plant, Grow, And Take Care Of Pumpkins

Know When To Plant

The key to having big and nutritious pumpkins is knowing when to plant. In most 4-sesaon climates, it is safe to plant in the late spring or the early summer. This will give you an earlier fall harvest, because pumpkins take 95 to 120 days to fully develop. In order to have pumpkins for Halloween, the latest you can plant is the end of July.

Pick A Planting Location

Where you put the seeds is going to affect how well and how quickly the pumpkin matures. Remember, this edible needs a lot of space to spread and vine. However, 20 to 30 feet will be enough area for most people.

Make sure you plant the seeds in a spot that receives full sun. If you want to plant on one side of your wooden shed, make sure the pumpkins still get a solid 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Additionally, do not plant in a spot that has standing water after it rains.

Prepare Soil

Pumpkins like good drainage. So, if you have clay soil, you will need to amend it before continuing. For stronger, larger pumpkins, improve the dirt by adding compost. About a week before planting, dig holes where you want to drop the seeds and fill them with your compost mix.

Note: If you don’t do this now, we recommend adding covering the seeds with compost at the planting stage.

Pick The Right Seeds For Your Pup

Different seeds are meant for different things. There are mini pumpkins, decorative pumpkins, and pie pumpkins. Pie pumpkin seeds and flesh are the best, because they were made to be eaten.

Plant The Seeds In Hills

If you have ever planted any type of squash before, you know how to do this. If not, it’s easy. Build up a mound of dirt about 6 inches tall and plant the seed 1 to 2 inches inside. These hills should be 12 feet apart, planted in rows that are between 8 and 10 feet apart. You might be able to get away with less space, but that depends on the variety of pumpkin seeds you purchased.

Pumpkin Care

Water: Not too much and not too little. Only water when the soil feels dry. When you do water, remember the roots are deep and need a soaking. Additionally, water in the morning and try not to get it on the leaves.

 

Fertilize: Fertilize once when the pumpkin sprouts. This will be about a week or two after planting.

Weeds and Insects: Weed by hand a few times a week. Also, check under the leaves and scrape beetles off a few times a week. Spray any aphids off of leaves with water in the morning. If all else fails with pests, use organic pesticide.

If you didn’t know dogs could eat pumpkin, you aren’t alone. It seems pumpkin for dogs is a big surprise to most pooch owners. In this article we will walk you through the benefits of pumpkin for pups. We will also cover how to prepare it in a style your dog will love.

Benefits of Pumpkin For Dogs

Benefit #1: Pumpkin Seeds Boost Urinary Health

My best friend’s dog loves to eat the seeds from our carving pumpkins! They contain oils that promote urinary health in man’s best friend. If your pup experiences incontinence, try adding pumpkins seeds as a normal part of its diet. As an added bonus, the seeds keep kidney stones from forming.

Benefit #2: Canned Pumpkin Increases Digestive Health

Does your dog regularly experience constipation or diarrhoea? If so, simple canned pumpkin may be able to help! The fibre helps your 4-legged friend digest its food better, not to mention pups love the taste.

In the case of diarrhoea, the vitamins A, C, E, and potassium all help the dog’s poo absorb water.  So, how much canned pumpkin should you add to a normal diet? Just a tablespoon per meal is enough to help settle your dog’s tummy. For constipation, add 1 to 4 tablespoons to each meal.

Benefit #3: Canned Pumpkin Can Help Your Pup Lose or Maintain Weight

Why is canned pumpkin such a good replacement for a portion of your dog’s food? It is high in nutrition and low in calories! If your canine buddy is obese or on the edge, ask the vet about how much canned pumpkin you should add to your doggy’s diet.

Benefit #4: Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Eliminate Intestinal Worms

This one is weird, but true. We’d never heard of it prior to researching for our doggos. However, we can attest to the results. After your pup has recovered, continue using pumpkin seeds in its diet as a preventative measure. This should come as no surprise. Native cultures have been using this squash to heal internal parasites for generations!

Benefit #5: Improves Your Dog’s Coat and Skin

If you want your dog’s coat to have a luscious shine, look no further than pumpkin! This is another strange but true benefit. The zinc, vitamin A, and high water content of this squash keeps your canine’s coat stay shiny and healthy. Less skin flaking and hair shedding are two additional benefits!

Benefit #6: Pumpkin Slows Aging

Pumpkin contains beta-carotene. This has been shown to slow the aging process in dogs.

The vitamin C boosts immune systems and protects your pup’s joints. Not to mention the positive effect of this vitamin on a dog’s cold.

Benefit #7: Canned Pumpkin Benefits Eyes

Pumpkin has a ton of vitamin A, and this helps keep your pup’s eyes functioning. Make sure there’s oil in the meal in order to get the fat-soluble benefits. We recommend some flax oil.

Benefit # 8: Pumpkin Seeds are Anti-Inflammatory

The reduction in inflammation increases cardiovascular health.

Benefit # 9: Pumpkin Seeds Provide Your Canine with Necessary Minerals, Lipids, Fatty Acids, Vitamins, an Antioxidants.

Benefit #10: Pumpkin Increases Hydration

If you mainly feed your dog kibble, it could be causing dehydration. Adding some pumpkin into your dog’s normal food is a great way to keep it healthy.

What Kind of Canned Pumpkin?

Not all varieties of canned pumpkin are good for dogs. Do not purchase pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie. Make sure you get plain ole’ canned pumpkin. Watch out for additives such as spices or sugar. Even salt. You want to get pumpkin as pure as possible.

The reason we haven’t discussed fresh squash is because canned is actually better. The canning process captures the nutrients at the peak of freshness.

Puppy Pumpkin Recipes

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Most dogs will eat pumpkin seeds whole, but we can help by roasting and grinding them ahead of time. Here’s a basic recipe:

* Preheat oven to 300 Degrees

* Clean the seeds of all pulp

* Rinse and pat dry

* Spread the seeds over a baking sheet covered with parchment paper

* Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them at 10

* Cool the seeds before grinding

In order to properly store the seeds or powder, put into an airtight container. Either add the powder to the top of your pup’s food or use it in another recipe!

Pumpkin Filling

Stuff your pup’s favourite toy with this delectable, healthy treat. Here’s how:

* Mix canned pumpkin, ripe or overripe banana, plain and unsweetened yogurt, and peanut butter.

* Put this mixture into the toy and let your dog go wild!

Pumpkin Biscuits

You can serve these plain, or topped with the filling listed above.

* Preheat the oven to 320 Degrees

* Whisk 1 cup of pureed pumpkin, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons of honey

* Add 2½ cups of wheat flour and 3 tablespoons of ground seeds

* If the dough is sticky, add some more flour

* Roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness

* Cut out with your doggy’s favourite cookie cutter shape

* Bake 25 to 30 minutes until you get a crisp, gold biscuit

Pumpkin Dinner

Add some of this to your 4-legged friend’s regular dinner to give them a special treat.

* Use 1 and 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin

* Add 2 tablespoons of plain, unsweetened yogurt

* Add 2 tablespoons of chicken or beef broth

* Add 2 tablespoons of rice

* Mix together and warm up before serving

Pumpkin Pie

Why not prepare some of these alongside your pumpkin pies during the Holidays.

* Preheat oven to 320 Degrees

* Follow the biscuit recipe, but instead of placing them on baking sheets put them into muffin tins. 

* Bake for the same 20 to 30 minutes

* Allow to cool for 15 minutes or until cool

* Fill with canned pumpkin

* Top with ground pumpkin seeds

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